Governance Gone Wrong: Examining Self-Regulation of the Legal Profession

England and Australia have abandoned self-regulation of the legal profession yet Canadian law societies continue to function on this basis. This article argues that the self-regulatory model on which the Law Society of Ontario (the “LSO”) operates represents an inadequate form of governance in terms of the accountability it yields. When compared to other organizations, including law societies in other common law jurisdictions as well as corporations, the weaknesses in the LSO’s governance model are conspicuous. This article advocates replacing self-regulation in Ontario’s legal profession with a co-regulatory regime. In the absence of such an extensive reform, this article puts forward recommendations for changes to the current bencher model of governance on which the LSO is based including the implementation of bencher expertise requirements and a duty of loyalty and a duty of care to the public.

Paper Available Here

Anita Anand, University of Toronto – Faculty of Law


The Case for Proactive Management-Based Regulation to Improve Professional Self-Regulation for US Lawyers

This article argues that the American Bar Association (ABA) should recommend, and the state courts should adopt, proactive management-based regulation (PMBR) programs to supplement the existing complaint-based systems of professional discipline.

The article discusses the New South Wales program, highlighting the requirement that incorporated legal practices designate Legal Practitioner Directors, and non-adversarial collaboration between regulators and the designated solicitors to help firms develop and maintain ‘appropriate management systems’.

The article argues that professional self-regulation’s limited commitment to consumer protection for clients should be strengthened, and that doing so may require a PMBR program.

Schneyer, Ted (2013) “The Case for Proactive Management-Based Regulation to Improve Professional Self-Regulation for U.S. Lawyers,” Hofstra Law Review: Vol. 42: Iss. 1, Article 19.
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